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Saipan was a bigger island then Tinian so it required a different kind of fight. After Tinian, Mervosh felt like a true combat veteran. After Tinian, they headed back to Maui, Hawaii for more training with the new replacements. It got to the point where the training was a routine.Mervosh had never heard of Iwo Jima. He was informed of its strategic importance because of its proximity to Japan. Iwo was going to allow the bombers to have fighter escorts for their bombing runs in Japan. He makes note that the battle on Iwo was the perfect battle. It was a defenders dream. With Mt. Suribachi overlooking what was essentially a moonscape, it provided excellent cover for the defenders and almost little cover for the attackers. There was also no civilian population on Iwo Jima. Collateral damage was not an issue, it was one of the purest battles in the sense of the word during all of World War II.Mervosh notes that on D+4 when the flag was raised over Mt. Suribachi, it did not signal the end of the battle, but rather the beginning of a series of battles that were made over many different objectives across the island. Mervosh makes note of the underground pillboxes and fortifications that were placed strategically across the island. The Japanese were given plenty of time to prepare. Mervosh is quick to remind people that the Marines took that island with very little armaments, in other words most marines had a rifle and some grenades and none of the fancy weapons of today.
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